09.12.2011 - ODG

In Denmark, Irina Bokova stresses the power of education for development

"Education is a life multiplier", said the Director General during the conference entitled ‘Women as Carriers of Development in the Global Reality’. "Education is an accelerator of political, economic and social transformation."

This conference on women’s empowerment and education, held in the Worker’s Museum in Copenhagen on 9 December 2011 and brought together a number of eminent personalities.

"I'm proud to be part of UNESCO's work,” stressed Princess Marie of Denmark, who was named Patron of the Danish National Commission for UNESCO in November 2009. “Women are the future but the truth is not reflected in global reality,” she noted. 

"We have to keep fighting for women's rights and for women to decide for themselves," said Danish Minister for Children and Education, Christine Antorini. "If women are not offered equal opportunities, we will not reach the Millennium Development goals".

The Director-General emphasized that the world is not on track to meet Education for All goals by 2015. “Globally, girls are more likely to never enter primary schools than boys," she said, "Women still represent two-thirds of the world's adult illiterate population of 793 million." She thanked Denmark for its sustained leadership in the pursuit of gender equality.

In the context of her official visit to Denmark, Irina Bokova met with the Minister for Development Cooperation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Christian Friis Bach and discussed the financial difficulties UNESCO is facing. The Minister expressed great support for the Director-General’s leadership and encouraged her to move ever forward in terms of efficiency and cost reductions. He voiced strong support for UNESCO’s leadership in EFA.

The Director-General met also with the Minister for Children and Education, Christine Antorini, to discuss Danish support to UNESCO’s Capacity Development for Education for All programme (CapEFA) and also the Director-General’s reform of the organization. CapEFA is an extra budgetary funding programme financed by the governments of Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

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